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Hyperion May 7, 2000

#7 Do as I say and no one gets hurt

Rules and models destroy genius and art. ~ William Hazlitt

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. ~Alfred, Lord Tennyson

We are a society of laws, but more importantly, we are a society of rules. These rules are unwritten, but perhaps more important to everyday living. Below, I have listed a few that I have found lacked codification. Some may not apply to you. Some you may find simplistic, stereotypical, or even grossly ignorant. When this happens, just tell yourself: “I am wrong”.


On Table Fry Rule

This applies to eating out. When the fries arrive at the table, the recipient has 8 minutes in which to eat them and then the fries become fair game. If the fries are ordered separately in a basket the time goes up to 12 minutes. Rationale: fries tend to get cold quickly and once the get cold they are no longer good.


A time-honored of tradition, but widely disparate in use. For the record: Once every person who is eligible to sit in the front is outside, the first to say “Shotgun” gets the privilege. The exception is siblings. Here, age is to determine who sits in front. Two exceptions: One is your birthday. The other is if the siblings are less than a year apart. Then, this formula is used: [# of months difference x 10=% the oldest gets the front]. For identical twins, the days of the month are split with the older twin getting the odd days, thereby insuring that he/she will get seven extra days a year, or eight in a leap year.

Pregnant Women

This law applies to men only. Never, under any circumstances, ask a pregnant woman when she is expecting, or any thing else related to the baby. This includes up to and including the birth. This is for two reasons. One, is the off chance, however remote, that the women is NOT pregnant and has just put on some weight. Asking about a baby would put your life at risk. Second, even if the woman is OBVIOUSLY pregnant, i.e., she is eating chocolate ice cream with pickles and Tobasco sauce, you never can tell how a pregnant woman will react to anything, and lives could be lost.

Express Lane

You can exceed the Express Lane limit by 10% if your items are duplicates. For example, if the Express Lane calls for 10 items or fewer, and you have three apples, two yogurts, and six boxes of Otter Pops, then you are ok.


You know those guys who drive by you on the street and are kind enough to share their music with you? Well, you should not get mad at them. The rule is: the size of the bass in a man’s car is inversely proportional to the size of his penis. Talk about revealing your shortcomings!


Mispronounced Words

If someone mispronounces two or more words during a conversation, they are trying to impress you. The exception here is French words, because no decent person cares how French people say anything.


If you are unsure whether you are being made fun of by your friends, you are.

Lending Money

Have a personal limit (somewhere between 3 and 7 dollars is good) that you are not worried about getting back. Nothing ruins a friendship faster than money. With a good friend it will all average out in the end. If it does not average out, then do not lend that person money. When dealing with family, raise the limit to $50, and do not expect it to even out. Instead, consider it a Christmas gift, or whatever you need to justify it. Here is the rule: If you will be bothered without the funds, either financially or relationship wise, then do not give the money.


If a friend makes you wait over thirty minutes, twice in a row, or three times in a thirty-day period, he/she should pay for the activity at hand. If you have friends who consistently make you wait and are not willing to go by this, what are you doing with them?


If a friend tells you something confidential that a mutual friend said, they will tell others what you tell them. So don’t.



The rule: The service at a restaurant improves proportionally to how busy the place is, up until the time people are waiting outside to get in. Then, it is too busy to serve you properly. This rule is counter-intuitive. One would think that an empty restaurant would produce better service, because all they have to wait on is you. This, however, is not the case.

Corollary: If the bathroom does not work in the restaurant, it is not a good restaurant. The logic here is that if a manager cannot take care of the bathroom, which is basic, there are forty other things you cannot see which he has let go (I say HE, because no woman in her right mind would let a toilet go unfixed).

Tipping in a Large Group

Large groups are notorious. They are very difficult to work and almost invariably under tip the staff. When I was a manager at a Pizza Hut I would often have to give my servers extra money to induce them to work a large group. These parties usually stay much longer than normal patrons do. Hey, if you are staying longer than normal that server cannot get other customers and you are depriving them of income. Think of it as renting the table. Here is the rule: Tip generously in a party and do not let ANYONE leave without assuring that EVERYONE has paid their share, including tip. If you have to, make sure there is an understanding before hand. If a gratuity is added to the bill, (which many places do because of the horrible tips of large groups), consider adding to that if the servers are trying hard to do a good job. If you think that is unreasonable, then get some Spam and Chex mix and have the party at your house, you greedy pig.

Dubious Restaurant

If you are in an eating establishment and you are leery of the food, follow this simple rule: If you can drown it in ketchup, it is probably safe to eat.


Guy Time

When a guy says he will call in a day, he does not actually MEAN one day. What he means is based on a complicated formula: [# days he said until he would call] + [# years since he has been driving] all divided by [# years past age 21 he has lived at home]. This total will give you the number of days he will call in.

Girl Time

When a woman says she will be ready in “just a second”, the following formula applies. Take the book “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy, in the original Russian. Take an English to Russian dictionary. Read “War and Peace” (using the dictionary to translate).

The Ex

If a man or a woman speaks ill of the ex boyfriend or girlfriend on the first date, they are NOT over them and are definitely not ready to be dating again. Avoid them like the movie Yentl.

Women are Groundhogs

If you have screwed up royally with your girlfriend or wife, and bringing her flowers and candy and a SINCERE apology does not induce her to forgive you, there will be six more weeks of winter, if you know what I mean.

Bras and Love

This one is from my mother. When you are in love the bra size does not matter.

First Date

If your date, man or woman, requests more than three changes to the meal as it normally comes, they are going to be a headache to deal with in a relationship. And ladies, call me sexist, but if the guy does not pay for that first date, he is scum. Forgettabouthim.


If a girl tells you, unbidden, that she has a tattoo but then will not show it to you, she is most likely trouble. However, a corollary says that you will still want her, so the rule is rather wasted.

Rule of 5

If you are dating 5 different women in 5 different cities, don’t invite them all to the same concert you are singing in, for they will wind up on the same row and face you as a united foe. Just ask my dad.

May 7, 2000


Jacydoll said...

This is hilarious---love your views on things.

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